Best friends in science win University Medals - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Best friends in science win University Medals

1 Jun 2016

Two friends who met in an alternative entry program to the University of the Sunshine Coast five years ago and studied the same degree have graduated at the top of the class, gaining University Medals for their grade point averages of more than 6.8 out of a perfect 7.

Amanda Norton and Rebecca McClure were awarded the medals, along with their Science degrees, at a graduation ceremony on campus at Sippy Downs recently.

“We met in TPP (USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway program) and have been best friends ever since,” said Ms Norton, 33, of Mooloolaba.

“We bonded over chemistry and really enjoyed studying together.”

And they’re still on the same wavelength. Ms Norton and Ms McClure, 51, of Landsborough, have both gained part-time work at USC while pursuing their next degrees.

Ms Norton, who now teaches first-year Chemistry and second-year Microbiology, is studying chemical ecology for her Honours degree and has her sights set on a PhD.

“My research is investigating the chemical properties of eucalypt resin, utilised by native Australian stingless bees,” she said. “I aim to determine which olfactory compounds attract stingless bees to the resin, and whether the resin has repellent or lethal activity against honeybee parasites.”

Ms McClure, who works as a research assistant and teaches Organic Chemistry, is studying a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics after finding her niche during the science degree.

“I’d like to work in the area of gastrointestinal disorders, either as a researcher or a clinician at a hospital,” she said.

— Julie Schomberg

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Amanda Norton and Rebecca McClure celebrating their recent graduation.

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